|Government re-distribution of the wealth just in time for election day.|
Communism - Stealing Private Property
"This is more like government-sanctioned looting."
Welcome to Communism and Poverty - Thousands of Venezuelans lined up outside the country's equivalent of Best Buy, a chain of electronics stores known as Daka, hoping for a bargain after the socialist government forced the company to charge customers "fair" prices.
President Nicolás Maduro ordered a military "occupation" of the company's five stores as he continues the government's crackdown on an "economic war" it says is being waged against the country, with the help of Washington.
Members of Venezuela's National Guard, some of whom carried assault rifles, kept order at the stores as bargain hunters rushed to get inside reports USA Today.
"I want a Sony plasma television for the house," said Amanda Lisboa, 34, a business administrator, who had waited seven hours already outside one Caracas store. "It's going to be so cheap!"
Televisions were the most in-demand item in the line outside one Caracas store, though people waited more than eight hours for fridges, washing machines, sewing machines and other imported appliances.
|The Communist Party of Venezuela is a partner of the late Hugo Chavez |
and his United Socialist Party of Venezuela
Water and snacks were being sold outside the store by savvy Venezuelans keen to profit from the commotion. Happy customers weaved giant television screens and other items back to their cars through the crowds.
Images circulating online as well as reports by local media appeared to show one Daka store in the country's central city of Valencia being looted.
"I have no love for this government," said Gabriela Campo, 33, a businesswoman, hoping to take home a cut-price television and fridge. "They're doing this for nothing but political reasons, in time for December's elections."
Maduro faces municipal elections on Dec. 8. His popularity has dropped significantly in recent months, with shortages of basic items such as chicken, milk and toilet paper as well as soaring inflation, at 54.3% over the past 12 months.
Economists are expecting a devaluation soon after the election, likely leading to even higher inflation.
The opposition, which has long struggled to gain ground against the country's socialist government, is hoping that the elections will be seen as a referendum against Maduro
"This is more like government-sanctioned looting," said 42-year-old Caracas-based engineer Carlos Rivero. "What stops them going into pharmacies, supermarkets and shopping malls?"
|"I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been |
civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism
arrived and finished off the planet."
Hugo Chavez (2011)